|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Rewards and Fairies by Rudyard Kipling:
Puck laid a hand on the hilt. It stopped shaking. The children
wriggled a little nearer.
'I am of the People of the Worked Flint. I am the one son of the
Priestess who sells the Winds to the Men of the Sea. I am the
Buyer of the Knife - the Keeper of the People,' the man began, in
a sort of singing shout. 'These are my names in this country of the
Naked Chalk, between the Trees and the Sea.'
'Yours was a great country. Your names are great too,' said Puck.
'One cannot feed some things on names and songs.' The man
hit himself on the chest. 'It is better - always better - to count
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
his love diminishing.
But he is a child. He swears, as though the mere suggestion were an
absurdity, and he is so beautiful that--Renee, you understand--I
Good-bye, sweet one. Shall we ever again let years pass without
writing? Happiness is a monotonous theme, and that is, perhaps, the
reason why, to souls who love, Dante appears even greater in the
/Paradiso/ than in the /Inferno/. I am not Dante; I am only your
friend, and I don't want to bore you. You can write, for in your
children you have an ever-growing, every-varying source of happiness,
while mine . . . No more of this. A thousand loves.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:
principles as the Mollusc of the convoluted shell.
The Mollusc has years wherein to construct its spiral and it uses
the utmost finish in the whirling process. The Epeira, to spread
her net, has but an hour's sitting at the most, wherefore the speed
at which she works compels her to rest content with a simpler
production. She shortens the task by confining herself to a
skeleton of the curve which the other describes to perfection.
The Epeira, therefore, is versed in the geometric secrets of the
Ammonite and the Nautilus pompilus; she uses, in a simpler form,
the logarithmic line dear to the Snail. What guides her? There is
no appeal here to a wriggle of some kind, as in the case of the
The Life of the Spider
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:
sins, which are heavier than the sand, be forgiven; sins, which,
wittingly or unwittingly, I have sinned from childhood upwards to
this my hoary age."
When the king's son heard these words, immediately he arose, and
his heart waxed warm, and he began to try to raise Nachor's
courage which was drooping to despair, and to confirm it in the
faith of Christ, saying, "Let no doubt about this, Nachor, find
place in thy mind. For it is written, God is able of these very
stones to raise up children unto Abraham. What meaneth this (as
father Barlaam said) except that men beyond hope, stained with
all manner of wickedness, can be saved, and become servants of